Healthcare and public services

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    To tackle the opioid crisis, the US should look to Switzerland’s successes with substitution therapy

To tackle the opioid crisis, the US should look to Switzerland’s successes with substitution therapy

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The US is facing an opioid crisis at a colossal scale. But Switzerland has been there before. Christian Schneider looks back to the policy innovations introduced to tackle the European nation’s opioid crisis in the 1990s. By implementing substitution therapy, heroin-assisted treatment and harm reduction measures, he writes, the US may be able to begin to get a grip […]

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    For African American Millennials, difficulties on the road to adulthood may be hurting their mothers’ health

For African American Millennials, difficulties on the road to adulthood may be hurting their mothers’ health

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Exposure to constant stress has a proven to be bad for people’s health. But what is the effect of stress that comes from family relationships, such as when parents have to support their children’s path to adulthood? In new research, Ashley Barr studies the effects of this kind of stress on mothers’ health, finding that young African Americans’ challenges […]

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    Why educated Republicans are still less likely to trust childhood vaccinations than educated Democrats

Why educated Republicans are still less likely to trust childhood vaccinations than educated Democrats

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There is overwhelming evidence that the benefits of vaccinations outweigh their risks. But why do so many continue to be skeptical of their use? In new research, Mark Joslyn and Steven Sylvester find that education is an important predictor of trust in vaccine science, and that Democrats are more influenced by this effect than Republicans. They write that these […]

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    High prices, not waste or over-use, drive high health care costs in the US 

High prices, not waste or over-use, drive high health care costs in the US 

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The US spends nearly 18 percent of its GDP on health care, making it a real outlier among high-income countries in this area. But what is behind this unusually high level of health care spending? Irene Papanicolas investigates common beliefs about why spending is so high, including that US residents use more health care services, have poorer quality of care, and use ‘too much’ inpatient care. She finds that higher costs […]

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    The Harvest Box will increase hunger for SNAP recipients. Here’s what Congress should consider instead.

The Harvest Box will increase hunger for SNAP recipients. Here’s what Congress should consider instead.

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In February, the Trump administration proposed some major changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. Under the proposal, at least half of recipients’ benefits would be replaced by a ‘Harvest Box’ containing shelf-stable staples rather than fresh produce. Katie Fitzpatrick argues that the plan would increase hunger and the stigma of receiving SNAP. Rather than going forward […]

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    Why has the US opioid crisis not spread to the UK? Thank the NHS

Why has the US opioid crisis not spread to the UK? Thank the NHS

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The US is currently experiencing an epidemic of opioid use – a crisis which has yet to cross the Atlantic to the United Kingdom. But why has opioid use reached crisis point in the US but not in the UK? Diarmuid Denneny and Silvie Cooper argue that the US crisis has its roots in the promotion of opioids for […]

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    Healing alone: how social capital reduces health care inequality, particularly in large diverse states

Healing alone: how social capital reduces health care inequality, particularly in large diverse states

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Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions of low-income Americans have gained access to publicly funded health insurance. Yet, the American states have remained critical stakeholders in the Trump era for fighting persistently high levels of inequality in access to health care. Using data from the fifty states, Ling Zhu examines trends in […]

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    Despite very different beginnings, China and America now have a great deal in common in how social policy provision is organized

Despite very different beginnings, China and America now have a great deal in common in how social policy provision is organized

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At the beginning of the latter half of the 20th century, policy approaches in China and the US to providing social benefits, such as education and health care, were very different. China’s model was one of centralized control, while in the US a state-based approach to implementing social policies was favored. In new research, Daniel Béland, Philip Rocco, Shih-Jiunn […]

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    Partisanship was not the only factor in how Obamacare exchanges were adopted by the states.

Partisanship was not the only factor in how Obamacare exchanges were adopted by the states.

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Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, many US states adopted their own Obamacare health insurance exchanges, many did not, and some opted for partial administration. In new research, Shihyun Noh argues that states were more likely to run health insurance exchanges in partnership with the federal government when they received financial incentives, had fewer state […]

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    Officials can nudge public behavior by showing that they are responding to people’s demands

Officials can nudge public behavior by showing that they are responding to people’s demands

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A key aim of public policymaking is to change public behavior in one way or another. In new research which focuses on voting patterns in Colorado, Andrew Menger and Robert M. Stein tested a number of ways of encouraging people to return their mail-in ballots early. They find that only message which increased early voting was one which explained […]

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